1st Edition. FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRESENTATION of 'Brewster's Angle, "one of Brewster's most important contributions to the science of physics" (Molecular Expressions Website). David Brewster's work on polarization of light by reflection and biaxial crystals "is important for several reasons" (Young, Optics and Lasers, 241).
"First, many lasers use Brewster windows inside the cavity to reduce reflection loss. Brewster windows are important in low-gain lasers such as helium-neon lasers, where a few percent loss can completely inhibit laser action, and in high-power lasers, where antireflection coatings would be destroyed by the intense beam.
"If unpolarized light is shone on a surface at Brewster's angle, the refracted wave will be partially polarized because the reflectance at Brewster's angle is 0 only for waves whose electric-field vectors lie in the plane of incidence. Waves whose electric-field vectors are perpendicular to the plane of incidence exhibit about 15% reflectance from a glass surface. A beam that passes through a number of plates of glass at Brewster's angle will be nearly 100% plane-polarized with its electric field in the plane of incidence. Polarizers made of a pile of plates are useful in laser applications where other polarizers would be damaged by the laser" (ibid).
ALSO INCLUDED: First edition of the first announcement and description of an invention some have argued rescued the Industrial Revolution, Humphrey Davy's Safety Lamp.
ALSO INCLUDED: First editions of Charles Babbage's first papers as well as his most important contribution to mathematics, the calculus of functions. Item #448
CONDITION & DETAILS: Philosophical Transactions Volume for the year MDCCCXV (1815) and MDCCCXVI (1816) Ex-libris bearing only a miniscule "Athenaeum Library, Liverpool" stamp and at the foot (margin) of some of the plates. Quarto. (10.5 x 8.5 inches; 263 x 408mm). , 446, ; Volume 106 , 366, . Volume I includes 8 page index. 16 copperplate engravings; Volume II includes and 8 page index and 21 copperplate engravings. The construction of Davy's lamp is depicted in one of the plates. Full volumes, complete. Handsomely rebound in aged calf. 5 raised bands at the spine, each gilt-ruled; gilt-tooled fleur de lis at the spine. Red and black, gilt-lettered spine labels. Tightly and solidly bound. New endpapers. Occassional light toning and foxing. By any measure, near fine condition.